Brent crude headed for its biggest weekly decline in six months as Libya prepared to resume exports from two terminals and Iraq’s crude production remained unaffected by violence. West Texas Intermediate was set for a second weekly drop.
Brent and WTI futures both slipped by 0.2 percent today. Libya will start shipping crude from Es Sider and Ras Lanuf at full capacity after taking back control of the ports from rebels, according to National Oil Corp. Fighting in Iraq hasn’t spread to the south, home to more than three-quarters of its output. Hurricane Arthur, the first to make landfall on the U.S. since 2012, weakened as it pulled away from North Carolina.
“The thing which pushed oil really down was Libya saying it will reopen the two terminals,” Hans van Cleef, an energy economist at ABN Amro Bank NV, said by phone from Amsterdam. “We’ll have to wait and see what actually happens, but for the moment it gives some relief. In Iraq we expect exports and production will probably remain untouched.”
Brent for August settlement fell 27 cents to $110.73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 2:31 p.m. local time. The grade has lost 2.3 percent this week, its worst performance since Jan. 3. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.92 to WTI on ICE, compared with $7.56 on June 27.